LEXINGTON, Va. – In a battle of nearby teams, the Virginia Military Institute men’s soccer team was edged 2-0 against Radford University on Wednesday afternoon at Patchin Field.
Radford got two goals from two different players to remain undefeated in Big South Conference action (5-0-0). Chel Ho Park Kim tallied the first marker of the afternoon in the 61st minute. The Highlanders (7-2-3) picked up an insurance goal in the 69th minute as Jannick Eckenrode sent in a corner for a diving James Jordan, who headed the ball to the right post.
The game was the first of a three-game home stand for the Keydets (1-9-1, 0-4-1 BSC). VMI had managed well against Radford at Patchin Field, shutting out the Highlanders for 277 minutes before Park Kim’s goal, the first Radford goal in Lexington since the 2006 season.
The Highlanders out-shot VMI 21-6 on the afternoon, but Taylor Feuerstein, the Keydets’ starting keeper, made five saves while backup Alex Guerra stopped one Highlander attempt over the final 25 minutes. Six different Keydets took attempts, but only Aaron White, Kip Zechman and Matt Seinfeld found the frame, only to be stymied by Radford’s Ryan Taylor.
Eight of Radford’s shots found the goal, but James Lucas was the only player in the game to place multiple shots on goal. Seven other players put shots on the mark for Radford, which received votes in the last two South Atlantic NSCAA weekly polls.
The Keydets’ defense managed to hold one of the most potent scoring threats in the country without a point. Despite his seven total shots, Bernardo Ulmo, who is ranked in the top 10 in points and goals per game, could only find the target once, only to be stopped by Guerra in the 68th minute.
Towards the end of the game, things got chippy between the pair of schools who have now met 26 times since 1977. The Keydets were given three yellow cards, while Radford collected nine fouls. VMI was whistled 11 times.
Corner kicks were nearly even through the match as Radford attempted two, one in each half, while VMI took three, all of which occurred in the first stanza.
VMI is back at Patchin Field on Saturday when it challenges No. 15 Coastal Carolina University. Game time for the Big South Conference matchup is set for 2 p.m.